CNMI junior tennis player Tammy Ackerman secured a semis seat in the ITF Oceania Plate 2012 after going unbeaten in the first two days of the competition at the Dr. Robin Mitchell Regional Tennis Centre in Lautoka, Fiji.
Ackerman held a 3-0 record after last Monday and Tuesday's games and was aiming for a Senior Girls Pool A sweep against Fiji's Ruby Coffin yesterday. The 13-year-old Ackerman, who also advanced to the semis of the U15 singles in the 2012 Pacific Oceania Junior Championships last week, cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 win in her first game in the ITF Oceania Plate last Monday. Ackerman had back-to-back games in the opening day and survived teammate Carol Lee in a three-set match, 7-5, 2-6, 7-5. Then last Tuesday, the former Saipan Community School student went 3-0 after stunning the top-seeded Loloma Ripley of Samoa, 6-3, 7-5.
With her perfect mark and 6-1 sets won/loss record, pending yesterday's results, Ackerman is assured of a spot in the Top 2 in Pool A and will play in today's semifinal round. Ripley (3-1) and Coffin (2-1) were battling for the remaining semis seat in Pool A yesterday. A Coffin win over Ackerman yesterday would have created a three-way tie for the lead with Ripley joining the group and the deadlock will be resolved by the sets won/loss percentage. Ackerman has the edge over her two foes, having dropped only one set in the first two days of competition.
Ackerman's teammates, Lee and Isabes Heras, would have to settle for the No. 5 to 8 place in the 10-player field. Lee was 0-3 and was looking to break into the win column yesterday, as she was scheduled to face Palau's Sunshein Palik (0-3)
Heras is in Pool B and held a 1-2 record after last Tuesday's games, posting her lone win against the Solomon Islands' Vinda Teally, 6-2, 6-4. She split her games in Day 2, as she lost to New Caledonia's Olanza Matuu in the afternoon match, 4-6, 2-6. Heras also dropped her lone game in the opening day, bowing to the top-seeded Anastasia Tapusoa of Samoa, 0-6, 0-1, and was set to play her last game yesterday against Palau's Ayana Rengiil.
Meanwhile, Luther Lizama and Chris Cajigan were also participating in the Oceania Plate, which has a mixed of U12, U15, and U18 players competing in Juniors and Seniors divisions.
In the Junior Boys, Lizama missed the semis, as he has won only one game in three matches in Pool B. The Commonwealth bet, who surprisingly defeated the top-tanked Carlos Ah Ching of American Samoa, 6-3, 6-3, was scheduled to duel Vanuatu's Ben Pechan in his Pool B assignment yesterday.
Cajigan is in Pool A in the Senior Boys and is also unlikely to advance to the next round after having an even 2-2 card, pending the results of his last game yesterday. Cajigan is behind three players and only the Top 2 in his pool will move into the semis.
The 15-year-old CNMI player got off to a slow start last Monday, losing to Guam U18 player Christian Penafiel, 0-6, 0-6, and Kiribati's Tito Tebatibunga, 6-4, 4-6, 2-6. Cajigan then redeemed himself last Tuesday after winning over Tahiti's Reynald Taaroa, 6-3, 6-2, and Samoa's Harley Cronin, 6-0, 6-2. The Commonwealth player was slated to battle American Samoa's Kevin Maukolao in the last pool game yesterday.